Refurbished South Bed

I can hardly believe it has been 19 days since my last post! Well, I have been kind of busy as you can imagine this time of the year. The garden is doing OK, at least half of it. The other half I don’t want to talk about. I have also been adding new pages on the right of plants I have grown, or am growing, which can lead to one thing then another. I have to make sure the scientific names are still correct for one thing. I am trying to get the list more or less complete then go back and add more photos and information. That has proved to be a little difficult for some plants.

I had to go back and look at the photos I had taken since June 6 (JUNE ALREADY!) to jog my memory. The last thing I remember was looking at the bed on the south side of the house (above photo taken on June5) and trying to think about what to do with it. Then I decided that if I start digging up the soil, cut the Crap Myrtle’s down (OH, I mean Crape Myrtle), maybe I could get some inspiration. THEN while I was digging I got distracted with the garlic bulbs. THEN, when I was digging up the garlic bulbs I saw something glowing in the soil… Both became new posts. Then the next day I went to Wagler’s Greenhouse to see what was there that could get me even more inspired… I intended to write a post about the Fireflies, then the Elephant Garlic, then the bed. BUT, then I joined a new online marketing program and started taking the training… SO, that is one reason why I haven’t added any new posts lately.

I could post the photos I took on June 6, but the plants have grown by now! SO, what do I do? I will just ignore the past 19 days and post the photos I have taken the past couple of days. I took 115 photos Saturday afternoon but this post is just for the south bed.

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The Baptisia x variicolor ‘Lunar Eclipse’ is still doing well with no sign of any worms foraging on it’s leaves as in Mississippi. This plant is located in the southwest corner of the bed next to the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’.

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The Buddleja ‘White Profusion’ is doing well again this year and LOADED with buds. I still don’t know which of the 141 accepted species of Buddleja this cultivar is from.

The flowers on the Buddleja ‘White Profusion’ are always AWESOME! I would like to add more Buddleja varieties somewhere…

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I transplanted a double row of Celosia argentea ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ for background plants along the wall. Since they can get very tall, up to 9′, they do very well as background plants. They readily reseed so I had PLENTY to choose from. So many that I run out of places to out them. The bad thing about putting them here and there is that the following year there are HUNDREDS more to put somewhere. I am tempted to scatter the seeds all along the fence rows on the entire 40 acres!

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Wagler’s had several Delphiniums, so  purchased a blue and a white one.  The last time I bought Delphiniums was in the 1980’s, so I thought I would give them another shot. The tag on the Delphiniums just says “Delphinium Mix”. GEEZ!!! There are about 300 species in the Delphinium genus, which are perennials. The annual Delphinium are Larkspur’s, which are in the genus Consolida. I planted Larkspur seeds in Mississippi that reseeded every year. Most perennial Delphinium hybrids and cultivars are from Delphinium elatum. The genus is pretty complex and I will tell you more when I get the Delphinium page added to the right…

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As you can see there are still a few Cannas in this bed. I haven’t removed them yet, but that is on my “to-do list” so I can transplant more Celosia argentea ‘Cramer’s Amazon”

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Echinacea  purpurea ‘Pow Wow’ White’. Seriously, folks, there are a lot of new Echinacea’s (Cone Flower) on the market. Personally, while there are several I would love to try, I don’t care for a lot of them. The petals on the traditional old Echinacea are supposed to hang downward. Many of the new ones that have came out over the past several years to not droop. I have not seen any Echinacea of any kind in any of the garden centers or greenhouses, only online. SO, when I saw Wagler’s had a few Echinacea ‘Pow Wow White’ available, I thought I would give it a try… They didn’t have the ‘Pow Wow Wild Berry’. I checked online to see if the petals droop and I found out they are a cultivar of Echinacea purpurea and they do droop.

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This is the Kniphofia uvaria-Red Hot Poker. This is another new one I never grew before, so I am very anxious to see how they do. There are several different species and cultivars, some have enormous flower stems! Plant Delights has some really nice ones available but they are VERY EXPENSIVE! When I was first taking photos for this post I somehow didn’t get a photo. SO, I had to go back and take this one on the 26th. I can hardly wait for it to flower!

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Liatris spicata-I have wanted some Liatris for many years, so when Wagler’s had them on sale I decided to buy one. I should have bought at least 3. I extended the bed a little beyond where it originally was and put the Oregano, Rosemary, a Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s ears) and a few ‘Brocade Red’ Marigolds there. I was going to dig more, but the ground was a hard as a brick… I will have to do something about that later (added to the “to-do list”).

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I had previously bought 3 Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower) and planted them in the north bed and they did pretty well. SO, since Wagler’s still had plenty, and they were on sale, I thought I would buy 3 more. Well, I examined them pretty good, as I always do, and noticed there was a problem. Umm… They had a touch of mealy bugs. I forgot to tell them about it. Anyway, I bought 3 more and put them in the south bed. The tag says sun to part shade, so I thought they might be OK here. If they have issues with to much sun I can always move them later. BUT, I learned something about Lobelia I haven’t experienced with any other perennials… Their leaves burn if they are still a little wet from the dew by the time the sun gets intense. The first 3 plants had that problem when I first planted them, too.

BUT, that is not the problem here…

When I was taking the photos one of the three plants had already died… It was not dead a couple of days earlier. I thought their problem was because of the sun and I forgot about the few bugs I saw when I bought them. NOW, I have to either spray or burn these guys. This is the first year I have seen bugs in any of the greenhouses. When I bought a few tomatoes from Mast’s Greenhouse earlier there were LOTS of bugs, white flies. He admitted he had a problem with bugs this year. Now I notice there are aphids and some other critter on some of the tomatoes. There are also a lot of Fireflies dealing with them. I need to go back out to Wagler’s and see if she noticed the bugs…

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Lupine ‘Popsicle’. I really like Lupine’s but so far they haven’t liked me very well. SO, I thought i would give them another shot. I bought two and they did fine… Then when I was taking these photos I noticed one had died. CRAP!!! Overnight DEAD. How can plants be fine one day and DEAD the next. Shriveled up, dried up dead! That is because of the intense sun the south side of the house gets. In Mississippi I had LOTS of oak tree leaves I used for mulch and they really helped. SO, It is very likely I need to start mulching the south side.

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Well, this Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) is not a new plant either but it is in the south bed. You know, sometimes we plant stuff where they would be great but maybe there is a slight issue that we learn about later. It has nothing to do with the Nandina. In fact, I would say that the Nandina is probably my favorite all around shrubs. NUMBER ONE! BUT, this spot is not always big enough for the Nandina and the Buddleja. Last winter (2015-2016) the Buddleja didn’t die all the way back and just continued growing in the spring from where it left off. That was a big problem for the Nandina which was basically covered up. Luckily this past winter, the Buddleja did die back and started over. The Nandina and I were both so relieved! There are new shoots coming up from the bottom, so this bush will soon be really NICE and the Buddleja won’t be able to take advantage of this location. The mansion in Mississippi had a lot of Nandina so I bought one back with me…

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The Origanum vulgare (Oregano) is doing very well in this extended portion of the south bed. I put it here because I couldn’t decide where to put it…

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Just as I was taking the photo, “guess who” jumped in. He had been with me when I was taking photos on the north side but ran for the bushes in the front yard. The alarm went off at the church next door and he did not like that noise at all. By the time I made it to the south side of the house the alarm was turned off and all was quiet once again. When I took this photo of the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ he jumped out of the bushes and right into the photo. I have had this plant since the spring of 2013 and I realized how important it was to protect it over the winter. You never know about the winters and the last one was weird. BUT, I did not cover it up this past winter even though the pot in the background is there in reserve for this one particular plant. SO, when everything was coming this plant didn’t. Finally one day I saw one tiny leaf emerging telling me it wasn’t dead. You can bet this winter that pot will go over this plant with mulch added! Probably it won’t flower this year, though. OH, I have to get those Celosia spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ relocated!

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Rosmarinus officinallis (Rosemary). As with the Oregano, I couldn’t decide where to put the Rosemary I bought from the garden club plant sale. SO, It went into this spot….

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This is a photo of the extension to the south bed. It is quite smelly with the Oregano, Rosemary, and Marigolds. the Lamb’s Ears also have a scent but it isn’t noticeable.

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The Scarlet Sage, Salvia coccinea, still continue to come up from seed every year. They are a bit SLOW to appear, though, so I have to be careful when I am weeding. I just let them grow where ever they want and they seem happy. Weird, though, they are called Scarlet Sage but they flower in white and pink, too.

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The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (‘May Night’) is always one of the first perennials to come up in the spring. They flower early and do so all summer. Right now, it needs a bit of a dead heading… I bought this plant in the spring of 2013 and it has never disappointed me in the least. Many sources list this hybrid Salvia as Salvia nemorosa, but it is actually a cross between Salvia nemorosa and Salvia pratensis. I had forgot about this, so I have some correcting to do… I hate it when that happens! I also thought that Salvia nemorosa was a cross between two species… In fact, the original post this one replaced had the two species it was a cross of. It sometimes takes me hours (or days) to write a simple post.

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I bought the Salvia nemorosa ‘Dimensions Blue’ and ‘Dimensions Rose’ earlier this spring and put them here in the right side of the south bed. They are doing very well so far as long as I keep the spent flower spikes cut off.

Salvia nemorosa are very heat and drought tolerant and seem to have no problems as far as insects are concerned.

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Stachys byzantina. This Lamb’s Ear clump has been weird… First, a good friend of mine gave me two pots in 2013. One club dies after the second summer and this one survived. BUT it is not exactly where I put it. It seems to be drifting out into the yard because it doesn’t like the Crap Myrtle. SO, I removed a couple of the escapees and put one in the left side of the bed and one in the extended part. I like Lamb’s Ears, but they either like where they are and spread like mad or they eventually die. I don’t think it likes the soil here either.

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A very good friend of mine in Mississippi, Walley Morse,  gave me a start of this plant in 2012. Without a doubt, the Talinum paniculatum-Jewels of Opar, is one of my favorite perennials. So, go lock me up in the nut house if you like for confessing that. Here in Missouri I haven’t had any problems with it spreading like wild fire. In fact, here it is more like a self-seeding annual. When i transplanted the two plants he gave me here in the spring of 2013, they got HUGE and were LOADED with flowers and seeds. I cut off as many of the spent flowers and seeds as I could because i knew what “could” happen. Even so, I had hundreds of seedlings come up. In 2015 I had only a few plants and I have no photos since 2014. Last year I don’t think I even had any and thought they were gone. This spring, I was surprised when several seedlings came up in the bed behind the old foundation in the other yard. I transplanted several along the border in the south bed.

The south bed is to long to get a good photo of the whole thing. You can see the few Canna survivors that need to be removed. A couple of years ago I moved the Cannas to their new home along the garage where they are ding very well. The grasshoppers always ate them to pieces in the south bed but don’t seem to be a problem where they are now. The Crap Myrtle have always been a problem in this bed because they get quite tall. If it were up to me, I would pull them out. I know, I know, they are Crape Myrtle and a lot of people love them. I am just not one of those people. When I expressed my dislike of them while I was in Mississippi it was like I committed a mortal sin.

Well, I think it looks much better now, although there is still work to be done. I like mass planting and there are a lot of bare spots. We have the summer ahead of us and the heat will be the test to what works and what doesn’t. I have to decide what do about mulching to keep the soil cooler, too. Maybe I will have to get some of the leaves out of the ditch, or at least some of them. I left the leaves in the ditch for a reason, though and it is working. SO, best I leave them there. I just hate to buy mulch when there is so much natural mulch available. But NOT grass clippings for this area! I just have to think about it.

Well, that is it for this post. Hopefully, it won’t take me 19 days before I post again. Actually, I took enough photos on Saturday for four posts. I have something to show you… Over the past week, I have taken photos of the wild turkeys and two baby raccoons… But that isn’t what I want to show you. It is of my experiment with the tomatoes…

I hope you enjoyed this post! Be happy, stay healthy, prosperous and most of all GET DIRTY!!!

Monday’s Find :)

Well, I suppose I better fully admit that my addiction to plant collecting had once again emerged. I tried to hide it when I went to Lowe’s on Sunday but it was no use. Then when I went to Clinton on Monday I had to take a trip to the garden center downtown. Notice I said “I had to”. That was not a question. The first thing I saw was the herbs. I saw a few that I would have liked but I was saving them for last. I needed desperately to see what else was available. The next selection was the annuals. There were SO MANY Petunias that their fragrance filled the air. BUT, I hesitated because I really wasn’t in the mood for Petunias at the moment.

Then I walked to the back… OH YES!!!! SEDUM, HOSTA, VIOLAS, SALVIA… Then I saw their prices. HOLY CRAP!!!! Suddenly my wish list got smaller. I decided maybe I shouldn’t buy any. Then I started looking at the Sedum and they called out to me. OH, it was terrible! I had to tell so many they just couldn’t come home with me. Then with the Hosta. She even had a Hosta ‘Samurai’. I had one of those in the early 1980’s. SO AWESOME but she wanted $15.00! Then I spotted a Hosta ‘Empress Wu’! My mouth drooled but it was in a 1-gallon pot from Monrovia which meant it was over $20.00. SO, reluctantly, I passed up her Hosta and went back over to the Sedum. Then I noticed the Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’ like I had in 2014. WELL, I had to have one.

Well, one plant led to another then another… In alphabetical order:

Baptisia x variicolor ‘Lunar Eclipse’

‘Lunar Eclipse’ False Indigo’
Baptisia x variicolor ‘Lunar Eclipse’
Baptisia australis x Baptisia sphaerocarpa
bap-TIS-ee-uh aw-STRAL-is x sfay-ro-KAR-puh

Part of the Prarieblues Series. There are many cultivars of Baptisia I have wanted to try, but this only the second I have owned. A couple of years ago I bought B. ‘Carolina Moonlight’ from Brent and Becky’s but it had some issues. Baptisia haven’t been readily available locally so I was happy to see this one at the garden center in Clinton on Monday. Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ is one of several in the Prarieblues Series from the Chicagoland Grows program from the Chicago Botanic Gardens. This hybrid featured flowers that change color… They emerge light lemon-over-cream then turn to cream, pale lilac and shades of purple/blue. They grow to a height of 3-4 feet in a full to mostly sunny location. Baptisia attract a lot of butterflies.

Lavandula dentata

French Lavender, Fringed Lavender
Lavandula dentata
lav-AN-dew-lah den-TAY-tuh

Lavandula dentata L. was named and first documented by Carl Von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.

Now, folks, I don’t know much about Lavender. I just know it smells girly and has many different leaf and flower types. I have always particularly favored the French Lavender because the flowers look like they have wings on top. A couple of years ago I bought a Lavandula angustifolia ‘Platinum Blonde’. It was taken over by the HUGE Coleus growing next to it and died… I had too many other distractions that year and completely neglected my plants. Lowe’s had Lavender plants when I was there on Sunday but they were the English species so I didn’t buy any. When I saw the garden center in Clinton had a few of the French, I had to have one.

When I add this plant to the pages to the right I will have more information about Lavender.

Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’

New Zealand Brass Buttons ‘Platt’s Black’
Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’
lep-tin-EL-luh SKWA-lee-duh

I bought one of these at Lowe’s in 2014 and it was really neat! Well, it did very well in the pot but went downhill after I put in the bed. It did flower then died cold turkey. SO, I found another one at the garden center today, which was a surprise, so I had to bring one home. Yes, I HAD TO! It was fate that brought me to the garden center and possibly because they had this particular plant. OK, well, maybe that is a complete exaggeration.

According to information on the internet, these plants are supposed to like full sun to part shade and can spread indefinitely. OH, that would be AWESOME!!! It says in large planting, spent flowers can be clipped off with a lawn mower and can even stand foot traffic. Well, I don’t think I will be walking on mine for a while, or even be using a lawn mower on them. They grow a max of 2” tall and the leaves grow 2” long x 1/2” wide. Info says they like full sun to part shade but last time I tried them in full sun so this time I will try part shade. It also says they don’t like their soil to dry out.

They are considered a herbaceous perennial in USDA Zones 4-10 and are even evergreen in zones 9 and 10.

Leptinella squalida are native to New Zealand but the ‘Platt’s Black” cultivar is from a sport discovered in the garden of Jane Platt of Portland, Oregon. According to some, the original is much better and more bushy and healthier looking.

OH, I almost forgot… Leptinella squalida Hook.f. is the correct and accepted scientific name of this plant. BUT that’s all I could find… Publication details weren’t available on Tropicos.

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’

Caucasian Stonecrop, Two-Row Stonecrop
Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’
SEE-dum SPUR-ee-um

Sedum spurium M. Bieb. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Sedum. It was first described as such by Friedrich August Marschall von Bieberstein in Flora Taurico-Caucasica in 1808. You can take a deep breath after that.

Well, I love Sedum so I had to have this one, and many more to come. We all pretty much know the characteristics and growing conditions of the “ground cover” type Sedums. BUT you have to realize that many Sedums have had or now have different genus names. In fact, many Crassulaceae experts who have written many publications use the genus name “Phedimus” due to the leaf shape (and other characteristics I am sure). While The Plant List says this species is Sedum spurium, they say Phedimus spurius. I am certainly not going to argue either way because I am just a gardener.  The taller species, like the ever popular “Autumn Joy” isn’t even a Sedum anymore. They are in the genus HylotelephiumSedum is MUCH easier to pronounce! Many retailers and growers are still using the Sedum name, though.

You have to admit the list of 421 ACCEPTED species names is STILL pretty long… Not to mention there are STILL 429 names that are unresolved. That is because in the world of succulents and cactus there are so many that are the same.

Sempervivum x ‘Killer

Sempervivum x ‘Killer’

This Sempervivum cultivar was hybridized and registered by Volkmar Schara of Germany in 2004. According to one website, they are also sold under the name of Chick Charms® ‘Cranberry Cocktail’. That name led me to the Chick Charms® Collectable Hens & Chicks website.

Chick Charms® are selected by Chris Hansen who is also the breeder of SunSparkler® Sedums. He has a collection of over 485 named varieties.

You know, there are over 4,000 named varieties of Sempervivums and SO MANY of them look exactly alike and no doubt many are the same. The result of the same crosses or sports. Just like in this case… They were hybridized AND registered under the name ‘Killer’ and they are also sold under the Chick Charms® name ‘Cranberry Cocktail’.

I had a few really nice Sempervivum that did very well until they met their end in 2014. This one caught my eye at the garden center because they have longer leaves and the rosettes reach 8” across and they grow up to 3” tall.

Well, that’s it for my second trip of plant buying. The next post will be about my new bed. SO, until then, take care, enjoy life and GET DIRTY!!!